Diwali is known as the festival of lights. The diyas lit around the country on this festival signifies spreading love where there is hatred, bringing joy and attaining knowledge when there is ignorance. In the Hindu tradition darkness signifies evil while light signifies the goodness.
During this festival, almost every home is lit up with candles, oil lamps and candles. Traditionally, people used earthen lamps complete with some oil and a wick. With the passage of time, earthen lamps were replaced by candles both fragrant and non-scented. Furthermore, electric lights of various sizes and shapes illuminate the cold and dark night of Diwali.
There are several ancient Hindu stories associated with this festival of lights. According to a tale in northern India, the residents of Ayodhya lit up their city with diyas upon the return of their beloved Lord Ram from a twelve-year exile in the forests, during which he defeated the evil demon Ravana. While in the east, the story is of the goddess Durga defeating the demon Narakasura. Although the story may have different versions, but it essentially signifies the victory of good at evil bringing back the knowledge of truth to all of mankind.
In the cities, the celebration of Diwali has been keeping up with the changing times, only a decade ago most houses used to illuminate their houses with the sparkling and warm bright light from earthen lamps. But nowadays, wax and gel candles of various shapes and sizes and coloured light bulbs are being used. Apart from the regular rod-shaped candles, designer floating and scented candles are also available shaped in the form of a heart or a flower. The gel candles are also available in many stores; these candles burn for days and are drip free.
Nowadays, even the traditional diyas are available in a variety of shapes like that of a star, a handi and many more. These lamps are usually decorated with designs made using glitters. Such diyas are available at any roadside stall. Brass or copper lamps can be used for lighting up the corners of puja rooms.